Rumors about a third Beatles film

First half of 1968

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Throughout the first half of 1968, a series of news and rumors emerged about the possibility that the Beatles would make a third film, after 1964’s “A Hard Day’s Night” and 1965’s “Help!“. The rumors stopped in May when it was announced that the Beatles were in the recording studio to record a new LP (what would become “The Beatles” aka the White Album).

Despite widespread reports that the Beatles’ next film will be their own independent production, it was confirmed this week that the group will make another picture for United Artists this year – to be produced, as was the first two, by Walter Shenson. The NME understands the Beatles and Shenson have a three-film deal with U-A, and a spokesman for the group said: “There is no question of the Beatles trying to withdraw from their obligations.”

From New Musical Express, January 20, 1968
From New Musical Express, January 20, 1968

It is now expected that The Beatles will begin work on their next cinema film in late summer or early autumn.

From New Musical Express, February 17, 1968
From New Musical Express, February 17, 1968

The Beatles’ long-awaited third film under their deal with United Artists – to follow “Help” and “Hard Day’s Night” – will almost certainly go into production in Britain this summer. Ringo Starr told NME this week: “We plan to start in June; scripts are being considered right now. I don’t know which one we’ll choose, but I’d like it if we all played more than one role.” […]

The ideas we considered for a film western, and for us to play the split personality of one person, were fine in theory. But they just didn’t work out as a 90-minute script. So far, no one seems to have thought very much about using us more as individuals than as a group. For instance, if we could all take several roles, one minute I could pop up as a chauffeur, and the next as King Kong. I hope people would recognise me“.

From New Musical Express, March 3, 1968
From New Musical Express, March 3, 1968

BEATLES have high hopes of being able to start work on their third full-length cinema film in June. Final search for a good story undertaken by The Beatles’ Apple Films executives at the beginning of March.

From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°57, April 1968
From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°58, May 1968

Now [George Harrison] is back, the four can get together and make some decisions on their third feature film which will definitely start this summer,” said press officer Tony Barrow.

From Melody Maker, April 27, 1968
From Melody Maker, April 27, 1968

The Beatles have now mapped out their recording plans for the rest of ’68.

They expect to have a single ready for rush-release within the next few weeks.

Now the production of the Beatles’ third film has been set back several months the boys expect to complete an album of new recordings by August for release at the end of September. Before starting on their third film, all four Beatles are anxious to record ANOTHER LP for Xmas release.

From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°59, June 1968
From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°59, June 1968

Last updated on October 3, 2021

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